March 8, 2011 - As the calendar turns to the time of New Year’s resolutions, the Wyoming Department of Health is continuing its long-running efforts to persuade residents to stop smoking by promoting the Wyoming Quit Tobacco Program with a series of new emotional television commercials.
The commercials feature real Wyoming citizens making pleas to family and friends who smoke. The residents discuss fears of losing their loved ones to the health effects caused by smoking and what they’d miss if those people were gone. The thoughts and concerns they express are genuine and unscripted.
“While most people recognize tobacco’s physical harm, the potential emotional devastation is discussed much less often,” said Joseph D’Eufemia, tobacco program coordinator with the Wyoming Department of Health.
The Wyoming Quit Tobacco Program, which is part of the department’s Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services Division, offers financial help for medications such as patches or other prescription choices to help Wyoming smokers quit, as well as free support from trained coaches. Interested residents can call 1-800-QUIT-NOW or log on to http://wy.quitnet.com to enroll.
“Research has shown time and again that support services such as those offered by our program can greatly increase a person’s chances of quitting successfully,” D’Eufemia said.
Dr. Brent Sherard, Wyoming Department of Health director and state health officer, said tobacco use is the world’s leading cause of preventable death. “Everybody, including smokers, already realizes that tobacco is unhealthy,” he said. “There is no safe or acceptable level of use and quitting can quickly pay big rewards with better health.” About 20 percent of Wyoming residents smoke. “We recognize that the idea of quitting is intimidating for people and we want them to know that real help is available,” Sherard said.
Daniel Junge, an Oscar- and Emmy-nominated documentary filmmaker directed the new television commercials. Junge was born in Sheridan and grew up in Cheyenne. Sukle Advertising and Design of Denver is producing the current campaign, which also features radio and billboard advertising. The new ads continue the department’s “We Draw the Line” theme, which focuses on the secondhand harm caused by the use or misuse of substances such as tobacco or alcohol.
Kellie Furman starred in a 30-second Wyoming Department of Health’s Quit Tobacco commercial in which she asked her father to stop smoking. The health department has released six commercials from residents in Casper, Gillette, Torrington and more communities.
Kellie Furman's 30 second commercial To listen to the other commercials www.health.wyo.gov.
Reference: Public pleas for health by Liz Reyna (firstname.lastname@example.org), gillettenewsrecord.com, 3/5/2011.
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